South Korea may be known for spearheading the skincare industry, but it has solid footing in the makeup industry too. Idol lashes, mauve lips, and Y2K makeup were tipped to blow up in 2022, and we’re still seeing traces of them at the end of this year, but what trends will replace them in 2023?

To find out what’s hot and what’s not, we rang up three experts and got them to share their predictions on the top Korean makeup trends of 2023.

Korean makeup trends 2023: Expressive and futuristic makeup

korean makeup trends 2023 futuristic look

Credit: @jennierubyjane/Instagram

According to Sharon Ahn, Beauty Trend Forecaster & Analyst of WGSN, we’ll be seeing plenty of colour and texture in 2023.

“South Koreans have traditionally avoided highly pigmented makeup, but the post-pandemic desire for self-expression will see younger consumers step outside neutral shades and their comfort zones with a full spectrum of mood-lifting colours,” she shares.

Influenced by the metaverse as well as phygital looks, younger consumers will seek to blur the lines between real and virtual with reflective, otherwordly skin, reverse eyeliner, and gem-studded eye looks inspired by HBO series Euphoria, as seen on Jennie Kim from BLACKPINK.

“Consumers will look to makeup artists turned influencers such as Liu and Pony, who create otherworldly aesthetics using expressive and futuristic colour and champion trending terms including ‘alien beauty’ and ‘beautifully bizarre’,” Sharon lets on.

Products to help you nail the trend

If you’re ready to experiment with bright pops of colour, there’s no better place to start than with Half Magic’s Chromaddiction Matte Eye Paint + Liner.

For the uninitiated, Half Magic was created by Euphoria‘s makeup artist Donni Davy, so you know you’re getting the brightest and boldest formulas. To help you take on the trend with ease, try Chromaddiction Matte, a highly pigmented eye paint and liner intended for playful eye looks or graphic designs.

For a reflective eye look that shimmers and sparkles, try ETUDE’s Tear Drop Eye Liner #1 White Tear. Its waterproof formula stays on all day and you won’t experience any glitter fallout.

  • Half Magic Chromaddiction Matte Eye Paint + Liner retails for US$24 (~S$32.36) on Half Magic
  • ETUDE Tear Drop Eye Liner #1 White Tear retails for US$8 (~S$10.79) on Amazon

Korean makeup trends 2023: Evolved “clean” makeup look

korean makeup trends 2023 evolved clean look

Credit: @3ce_official/Instagram

Makeup artist and director of Cynderella, Cynthia Oh, says that an evolved, “clean” makeup look will be the star of the show in 2023. That coveted, transparent “glass skin” we’ve been enamoured by will still be the main focus, especially now that more of us are more comfortable going maskless.

“The ‘glass skin’ look has been ongoing for the last few years, but [it] is going to be even more translucent and glowing, especially on the cheeks,” Cynthia predicts.

Products to help you nail the trend

Cynthia recommends prepping the skin with hydrating skincare products and using a foundation or BB cream that grants a nice, natural finish. She suggests using a cream blush or even lipstick or lip tint for the cheeks. Then, you can set the T-zone with a lightweight setting powder.

Skin prep:

  • Dr.Jart+ V7 Serum retails for S$69 on Sephora
  • CHANEL N°1 De CHANEL Revitalizing Cream retails for S$167 at CHANEL

Foundation:

  • Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Foundation retails for S$76 at Sephora
  • Romi Dream Skin Tint retails for S$49 at Romi Beauty Club
  • Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Fluid Foundation retails for S$90 at TANGS

Setting powder:

  • By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder retails for S$91 at Sephora

Korean makeup trends 2023: Caramel blush

korean makeup trends 2023 caramel blush

Credit: @hyein_newjeans_/Instagram

We saw caramel lip shades take centre stage last year, but makeup artist and co-founder of ARLY, Airin Lee, says we’ll be seeing more of this hue on our cheeks in 2023.

Look for a light brown blush with moderate, warm undertones that are not too red and not too orange – paired with a mostly matte finish, as seen on Hyein, the maknae of the rising girl group NewJeans.

“The blush is applied on the apple of the cheek,” Airin explains. This shade should mimic that of contour, except it “looks more like a sunkissed flush compared to a pink and peach [shade].” This will make you look naturally healthier, as it promises a more skin-like finish.

Products to help you nail the trend

To achieve the look, try A’PIEU’s Juicy-Pang Water Blusher in BE01 Fig for a soft and dewy finish. For a silky, powder formula, consider NAMING’s Fluffy Powder Blush in Bagel.

  • A’PIEU Juicy-Pang Water Blusher in BE01 Fig retails for S$11.53 on YesStyle
  • NAMING Fluffy Powder Blush in Bagel retails for S$15.25 on YesStyle

Korean makeup trends 2023: Powdery, velvety skin

korean makeup trends 2023 velvety skin

Credit: @newjeans_haerin/Instagram

“Glass skin” has been the reigning complexion ideal for many years now, but K-beauty’s recent makeup launches suggest we might be moving onto more powdery, velvety finishes à la Korean “milk skin”.

The Korean makeup trend focuses on healthy, hydrated skin that bears a lovely, soft-focus quality.

Products to help you nail the trend

To achieve this look, Airin recommends the Laneige Neo Cushion Matte, a lightweight cushion foundation that’s resistant to humidity. It also promises matte, full coverage for 24 hours, minus the cakey appearance.

Another complexion-perfecting foundation to try is Kanebo Lively Skin Wear. This next-level formula liquidises powder pigments and wraps them with gel, which then creates a fresh glow to the skin. “Once applied, it feels like skin without [creating] too much shine,” Airin says.

“Loose powder [should] be applied sparingly on the T-zone and chin to soften the look,” she adds.

  • Laneige Neo Cushion Matte retails for S$63 on Sephora
  • Kanebo Lively Skin Wear retails for S$145 on Shopee

Related read: Get Korean “milk skin” sans makeup with these 8 facials – including deals of up to 90% off!

Korean makeup trends 2023: Clumpy lashes

korean makeup trends 2023 clumpy lashes

Credit: @lalalalisa_m/Instagram

For us beauty buffs, clumpy eyelashes are something we’ve been encouraged to avoid. They may signify a poorly designed mascara, an out-of-date formula, or someone who is a little overzealous with their application.

However, Airin says that clumpy lashes are about to make a huge comeback in 2023. “It’s slightly different from the spidery lashes which were once a trend,” she points out. “These lashes have a more defined, clean look.”

They widen the eyes and accentuate your peepers without looking like you’ve put too much effort into the look, of course.

Products to help you nail the trend

A mascara with combed bristles or a micro mascara can help you achieve the look in a flash, which is why Airin recommends Maybelline’s popular formula.

  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Volumizing Mascara retails for S$21.90 at Watsons
  • Perfect Diary Eye Max Mascara retails for S$34.45 on Shopee

Korean makeup trends 2023: Plump, juicy lips

korean makeup trends 2023 juicy lips

Credit: @dlwlrma/Instagram

Plump, juicy lips with blurred definition will reign in 2023, according to Cynthia. “As mask-wearing is still essential when taking public transport, I recommend [using a] lip tint as the base instead,” she says.

Airin concurs and shares that more Koreans are opting for a tinted, natural look, favouring a more low-maintenance lip post-pandemic.

Products to help you nail the trend

Lip tints will help you set the stage for a lasting lip look, so go ahead and dab some on before you layer on a light gloss or balm. For a one-step lip look, opt for tinted lip balms that not only add a gorgeous wash of colour, but also condition your lips for a fuller pout.

Lip tints:

  • Peripera Ink Velvet Lip Tint retails for S$15.90 on Shopee
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm retails for S$57 on Sephora

Tinted balms:

  • NARS Soft Matte Tinted Lip Balm (Limited Edition) in Brief Encounter retails for S$40 on Sephora
  • MAC Cosmetics Glow Play Lip Balm retails for S$36 on Sephora
  • Givenchy Rose Perfecto Lip Balm in Chilling Brown retails for S$54 on Sephora

Korean makeup trends 2023: Muted, glittery eyeshadow

korean makeup trends 2023 muted eyeshadow

Credit: @taeyeong_ss/Instagram

Tying in with the evolved “clean” makeup look that Cynthia mentioned are muted eyeshadows that bear a slight glittery sheen. Pair it with lashings of mascara and brown-toned coloured lenses for a fresh, modern look.

Products to help you nail the trend

Cynthia recommends a splash of apricot on the lids coupled with light-reflecting glitter. These eyeshadow palettes she recommends have all the shades you need to take on the trend effortlessly.

  • Rom&nd Better Than Palette in #00 Light & Glitter Garden retails for S$29.90 on Shopee
  • Espoir Real Eye Palette in #05 Apricot Me retails for S$31.32 on Shopee

Korean makeup trends 2023: Natural, feathery brows

korean makeup trends 2023 feathery brows

Credit: @danielle_newjeans_/Instagram

Stiff, straight brows are a thing of the past. Now, it’s time to embrace a more natural, feathery brow that amps up the volume.

Cynthia points out that celebrities such as Lisa or Jennie of BLACKPINK as well as models in the campaigns of major Korean cosmetics brands, such as 3CE, Sulwhasoo, or ETUDE are sporting a fluffier shape – one that actually mimics the flow of natural brow hairs.

Instead of forcing your brows to take on a certain shape, enhance your natural brows with light, hair-like strokes.

Products to help you nail the trend

If you can’t commit to something as permanent as brow embroidery (or your threshold for pain won’t allow it), try a brow pen that’ll help mimic the look of the beauty treatment.

For those who prefer a little more control over their brows, an ultra-fine brow pencil will grant you the most natural strokes.

  • Benefit Cosmetics Brow Microfilling Pen retails for S$46 at Sephora
  • Benefit Cosmetics Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil retails for S$46 at Sephora